What's driving the city's Point Breeze land grab? Hint: It's not tax delinquencies
Next American City wrote up an article last week that the city was taking over land via eminent domain. As mentioned:
I decided to do some digging in the tax records to better understand the lots in question. What I found was that nearly half of the privately owned vacant parcels owe no taxes, or under $100 in taxes. 3 properties even have a negative balance, while 9 properties owe nothing.
"With no public dialogue, the PRA in April resurrected a seemingly dormant plan to build affordable housing in the Point Breeze Urban Renewal Area, a redevelopment zone created by the agency in 1971. Officials introduced an ordinance that would give them the power to condemn and acquire 51 lots scattered around the area, a majority of which are tax delinquent and owned by private individuals. Others are the legacy of prior revitalization efforts, owned by other government agencies or defunct nonprofits."
Here is a graph that shows the total owed by each property tax owner
Here's a map of all properties that the city is attempting to acquire: Philadelphia PRA Eminent Domain Properties
The outliers are for side lot applications that have been rolled into this proposal.
If you're interested in reading the city ordinance, you can find it here, on Page 25
Reading the fine lines of the city ordinance, the goal is for the city to grab parcels next to existing PRA lots so that it can bundle the lots together. It doesn't matter if the lots are newly purchased or paid up on taxes, the city is actively confiscating land.
So what's the takeaway here? Don't buy a lot near PRA owned property? If you buy one, develop immediately?
There's a discussion on this article here, too, just in case anyone's interested.
I know the Kelo decision a few years ago poses a huge setback for this in the courts, but don't property owners have some kind of recourse if they contest the PRA's claim? It seems like there must be some minimum threshold for a city takeover of land—at least in state law.
Originally Posted by JakeL
Originally Posted by OffenseTaken
The lots that are tax delinquent are still owned by their delinquent owners because KJ stopped the sale of the properties at Sheriff Sale this year. Pulled them off the list the day before the sale.
Shucks, I forgot! See, I come from a part of the Western world outside Philadelphia, where we have this little thing called the "rule of law."
Originally Posted by ofeibush
Interesting most the lots are in the most desirable part of pt breeze
Compare with "Bainbridge West" Taking
In approx 2002-03, same thing happened to some off the most desirable lots/vacant properties in SWCC between Broad and 17th Street. It was how Universal got access to about 25 of the properties that it developed in SWCC. The Bainbridge West list initially contained more properties than were ultimately transferred to Universal. If I recall properly, pretty late in the process, Anna Verna pulled a small number of properties off of the taking list. The interest in developing the western end of SWCC was already well underway before Universal ever got around to developing the transferred properties.
Originally Posted by John Goodman
“Guys like you I would dispatch with my roofing axe.” -- BootsywannabeACretin
Originally Posted by JakeL
Excellent post thanks for the great info!
According to the Council agenda for Thursday, related bill 120763 will be going before council for a vote. Am I allowed to speak at the city council hearing against this bill? Many of these properties are a block or less away from me, and I have enough city-owned lots to clean up after, I would prefer to not have the city add more to their register.
Originally Posted by Jayfar
This is a bigger issue than what happened to Mr. Ori. Rise up people, call the news, let everyone know about this, don't let this happen or else you'll have another 50 years of trash filled lots to look at! It's a clear attempt to block private development. I live near three city-owned lots and they are a mess, no more! City you are broke sell your lots you scumbags!
Originally Posted by JakeL
I think by now we all know that some of the worst fears expressed on PS during the last election regarding Johnson are coming to pass. Poverty, blight,dependency and social disfunction will keep him in office.
UNLESS, residents in his district stand up to him. The Darrell Clarke play book at its finest! Be afraid, very afraid.
Funds for Point Breeze Development
Additional note about the "Bainbridge West" project:
Round about 2002, Universal was allowed to use funds that were designated for development in Point Breeze, in order to develop market rate housing in SWCC. For whatever reasons, Point Breeze did not seem prime for development in the early 2000's, so Universal was able to use the Point Breeze funds as "bridge financing" for its SWCC project. As Universal's SWCC market rate properties sold, the funds were to become available for their original purpose, namely Point Breeze development. It took Universal significantly longer to develop the SWCC properties than expected. In my opinion, that short-changed Point Breeze out of allocated development funding for almost a decade.
There was resistance in SWCC against deveopment of more subsidized housing. A plan emerged that was know as the "South Philadelphia Plan", whereby development north of Washington Avenue would be at market rate, and development south of Washington Avenue would be "affordable". Not sure whose brainchild the South Philly Plan was...
Last edited by Pinkham; 10-02-2012 at 11:24 AM.
Reason: to add last sentence
KJ is a terd who would vote for that slimeball?
BILL NO. 120755 is it retaliation for the whole lot fiasco or payback for something else? It seems to be out of spite. If this goes through it would be a real tradegy and set PB back years with a bunch of non-developed blighted land. Man to bad KJ didn't lose the election.
KJ should have to pay for all legal fees and maintance costs for these properties out his own pocket, especially since he just voted to raise property taxes by 9% and he's taking the properties off the tax rolls.
Considering how hard some folks in his district are going to be hit by AVI, its amazing he's seizing property from people who are actually paying their taxes, employing Philadelphians, etc.
His election campaign should be "I'm Kenyatta Johnson and I approve of taxpayer subsidized blight"
Look at my e-mail signature. Please click and sign.
I don't believe it's in response to the lot, the bill was part of the PRA's July meeting, before lotgate occurred.
Originally Posted by bbeach
Many of the properties given to Universal at a huge discount due to political connections were never developed. For instance 764 S. 16th, 760 S. 16th, 728 S. Hicks St., 1515 Catharine St., 1505 Catharine St., near me. The first three have finally been resold to private developers by the PRA (RDA) after reverting to the PRA because Universal didn't develop them within 5 years. The PRA still doesn't seem to know it owns 1515 Catharine St. and 1505 Catharine St., but they do, and they are a mess, just like the others. This is the kind of BS we will get more of if the RDA buys more properties for cheap political gain, and succeeds in yet again cockblocking private developers to they can maintain their poverty pimp subsistence form of existence.
Originally Posted by Pinkham
1515 Catharine St
1505 Catharine St, Philadelphia, PA - Google Maps
Man shot by police in South Philadelphia
"Weird" how someone else was shot TWELVE TIMES at the same spot a couple months ago.
Man shot 12 times on South Philadelphia street | 6abc.com
Anyone interested in holding hands at 23rd & Mifflin? Maybe a rally?
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